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Convosphere | Social Intelligence Digest | Edition 1

  1. The outbreak of Coronavirus has caused a myriad of global issues. Those who are self-isolating are looking for ways to entertain themselves and the Internet has been rife with suggestions. On Weibo, hashtags such as #宅家美食pk赛# (food battle at home) generated nearly 2.5 billion reads with people sharing their homemade delicacies, and #宅家健康运动计划# (home health and fitness plan) has had over 1 billion reads. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, fake news from individuals and celebrities added to the public fear with the government acting swiftly to remove articles and punish the offenders. Accurate and timely scientific information is perhaps the best vaccine against the virus. Anyone looking for a way to make the required 20 seconds of handwashing a bit more fun may find this video handy!
  2. Whether SXSW will be cancelled due to Coronavirus remains to be seen, but if it does go ahead, we’ve some exciting news for anyone planning to visit. This year our Associate Director Tamara Lucas is attending the global conference to co-host a session on nomadic living with AppCritic’s Ivan Fanego. As a business that prides itself on its flexible working approach, we look forward to learning about alternative solutions to the work-life balance and the challenges faced when navigating an untraditional career path. If you’re heading to SXSW, make sure you sign up to the Digital Nomads Meet-Up.
  3. News reports about the harmful effects of screen addiction tend to focus on adolescents. But it seems adults are also finding it difficult to put their phone away, even when engaging in what should be a face-to-face interaction. A 2018 study by the University of Kent discovered that phubbing – snubbing someone in a social setting in favour of one’s phone – can have a negative effect on relationships by threatening our basic human need to belong. These worrisome findings were recently backed up by research conducted in Sweden, which found that shop workers were left frustrated by customers unable to take their eyes off their smartphone during the till transaction. We’ve all done it, but we’ll be the first to admit it’s time to look up from our phones and smile. That email can wait!
  4. What do you do when you just can’t get served at the bar? This is an increasing problem in Japan’s ageing society where recruiting serving staff from a population, of which one-third are 65+, is proving challenging despite recent visa relaxations. The answer for one Tokyo bar is the deployment of a robot bartender. The robot, made by QBIT Robotics, can pour a beer in 40 seconds and mix a cocktail in a minute. It uses four cameras to monitor customers and analyse their expressions with artificial intelligence (AI) software. As this article from Reuters shows, while customers are largely positive, some were let down by the slow service. It seems some things at least never change.
  5. When it comes to the adoption of data, marketing is often thought to be ahead of its peer-industry, public relations. But with an increasing number of PR companies embracing the digital landscape, the distinction between PR and marketing is becoming less clear. This has led to questions about how PR should be treated. Does it now belong under marketing? Or should it sit under digital or SEO? Is social media and influencer marketing the responsibility of PR pros or marketers? And, crucially, how can the value of PR work be proven? You’ll find the answers to all of these questions in Talkwalker’s report on the state of digital PR in the UK & Nordics 2020, here.

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